Did, or are you planning to breast or bottle-feed your baby?
My feeding journeys with both of my children have not been as simple as I imagined they would be (is anything in parenting?). With my son I bottle-fed after a traumatic birth and with my daughter, chose to breastfeed. After an induced labour and baby Norah arriving at 38 weeks my Colostrum was slow to come in. She has the suction of a Dyson and was what the Midwife affectionately called a ‘hungry baby’. The little Piranha spent the first three days cluster feeding. Chomp, chomp, chomp. Cue nipple blisters. Enough said.
What challenges did you face when breastfeeding?
Help from a lactation consultant revealed she had a bad latch and I had a let-down like a Nerf gun. Colic and Silent Reflux followed. With them, a new born that screamed, arched and gagged with each feed. It was heart-breaking. Time was spent on the Paediatric ward where they took X-rays of her poor little distended abdomen from gas. We tried baby Galvascon, cot wedges, massage, hand expressing before feeds, soy formula for CMPA. She just cried and cried. So did I.
Moving to bottle.
With support from our Health visitor it seemed that it was best for Norah to feed from a bottle with a teat that would help reduce the air she was sucking in. The Medela Calma has a unique venting system so baby needs to create a vacuum to start the milk flow and maintain their natural sucking behaviour. Also perfect from breast to bottle if you want to combine feeding.
Expressing meant my partner enjoys being able to feed Norah and we were able to monitor how much she was ingesting which offered us reassurance.
Exclusive pumping with Medela.
Are you thinking of pumping? Occasionally or fulltime? From birth or for when you return to work? Perhaps your baby is in special care? There are so many reasons why mothers use a breast pump.
I know I, like many mums was hesitant about feeling comfortable using a pump. Felt like it would be a chore. Choosing the right pump to meet your feeding needs is important.
Swing Maxi Double Electric Breast Pump review.
- Double electric breast pump.
- Multi suction and speed adjustment.
- Two phase expressions.
- Standard BPA free breast shield 24mm.
- Multi power options.
Why choose the Swing Maxi double electric breast pump?
Double pumping cuts your pumping time in half, so the process is more effective. Additionally, prolactin levels are higher when you use a double pump, so you may produce more, higher energy milk.
The pump itself is compact, lightweight and convenient which is perfect for travel. There is also the option of using mains or battery power, so it can be used in the car, or office, etc. The tubing is long so you do not feel constricted. There is also a handy clip on the back.
Multi use pump.
The design makes it easy to switch from dual pumping to single pumping by plugging in the unused tubing into the Medela T-connector.
Operation is easy, as is assemblage with simple instructions. There are minimal parts and the pump console has four buttons, so the interface is very simple to use. On/off, vacuum up/down and let down button. Replacement parts are widely available to buy from Medela. It is dishwasher safe.
The suction is very effective, and both the short, quick (stimulation) or slower (expression) rhythms replicate natural sucking. Different sized breast shields can be purchased for personal fit. The Swing Maxi switches of automatically when the pump has been running for 30 minutes without any manipulations for safety and to save on power.
The pump could be considered noisy in an office environment, but I found the repetitive sound soothed my daughter. The Swing Maxi is not a cheap model, but you are paying for quality and as a product that you will be using multiple times a day you do want to invest something effective and comfortable. Bottle stands come with the pump but if you are pumping in bed be careful as if the bottles fall over when attached milk will spill back out through the connectors.
What are my top tips for pumping?
- Pumping is a skill, don’t expect to churn out full bottles immediately. Be patient with yourself.
- Nurse on one side whilst pumping or whilst smelling babies’ clothes to stimulate let down. If you are breastfeeding pump after a feed.
- Have a muslin on hand to wipe up any drips.
- Instead of pumping for longer periods which can cause pain or damage your breasts, pump more regularly (every two to three hours) for ten to fifteen minutes to mimic babies feeding. Skipping a pumping session will have a negative effect on supply. Get into a pumping routine.
- If your nipples are sore rub on a small amount of breast milk in or use the Medela Purelan 100 lanolin nipple cream.
- Relax, and avoid distractions to ensure the best flow. A warm flannel or massage can also help. Comfort is important, grab a biscuit and large glass of water when pumping.
- For hands free pumping purchase a pumping bustier or take an old sports bra and cut out circles for the breast shields to fit.
- Build a stockpile at the first stage when breasts are engorged and freeze. Store milk in hygienic, space saving ‘Pump and Save’ Medela bags in small batches (i.e. 2 oz) so if baby only drinks a minimal amount the rest will not need to be thrown away and wasted.
- Wash your hands and sterilise the pumping equipment.
- Pump at your maximum comfort vacuum, it may feel uncomfortable but reduce the strength if it gets painful. Hold by the breast shield and not the bottle which can lead to blockage of the milk ducts.
My final thought
Medela Swing Maxi is a fantastic breast pump which offers ultra-portability with its multi power options and efficient vacuum.
Note: We were kindly gifted the Medela Swing Maxi Pump, all opinions are our own.